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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, February 7th (All times Eastern)

Columbus Blue Jackets (29-23-5) at San Jose Sharks (36-16-6), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to complete their pre-Olympic schedule on a positive note when they visit the San Jose Sharks for Friday's clash at SAP Center.

Columbus has been red-hot since the beginning of January, going 12-4-1 since the calendar flipped to 2014. The Blue Jackets, however, had a three-game winning streak halted their last time out, as they dropped Thursday's 2-1 overtime decision in Los Angeles.

The Blue Jackets scored their only goal just 1:40 into the first period on Thursday. Los Angeles evened the score early in the third period on a goal from Jake Muzzin and Robyn Regehr tallied 2:33 into OT to help the Kings halt a four-game losing streak.

"I think they played really hard. There wasn't a lot of space out there," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "I think they checked well I thought we checked well. It was an intense physical game and we knew that coming in and I thought we were going to get tested here in this building and I'm real happy with the way the guys came out and played the game."

Friday's contest marks the third stop on a four-game swing. The final portion of the trip won't be played until the Blue Jackets visit New Jersey on Feb. 27, when the NHL returns from its break for this year's Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Columbus, which are 13-12-3 as the guest this season, enters Friday tied with Ottawa for the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference and both clubs are just one point in back of Detroit for the East's eighth and final playoff spot. Both the Senators and Red Wings are off on Friday before closing their pre- Olympic schedules on Saturday,

The Blue Jackets also could qualify for the postseason by finishing in the top-three in the Metropolitan Division. Columbus is currently one point behind the third-place Philadelphia Flyers, who are off on Friday before hosting Calgary on Saturday afternoon.

Columbus has fared well against the Sharks recently and hopes to continue that trend in the first of two meetings between the clubs in 2013-14. After sweeping the three-game series last season, the Blue Jackets have won four in a row and six of the past 10 meetings overall.

San Jose, however, has taken 13 of the last 15 encounters at the Shark Tank.

After ending January on an 0-3-0 slide, the Sharks have won two of three to begin the new month. San Jose hopes to get three wins during its four-game homestand when it plays its final test before the Olympics tonight.

The Sharks opened February with a 2-1 shootout win over Chicago on Saturday, but then dropped a 5-2 decision to Philadelphia on Monday to fall to 1-1 on its homestand.

San Jose, which is running second to Anaheim in the Pacific Division, was able to rebound on Wednesday by recording a 2-1 overtime victory against Dallas. Tommy Wingels scored 1:52 into overtime to lift the Sharks to victory and award them the extra point.

Marty Havlat had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who improved to 21-4-3 at home this season. Alex Stalock stopped 19-of-20 shots.

"I thought we played much better both zones," Havlat said.

Havlat set up the game-winner in overtime. He made a nice backhand pass from the side of the net to Wingels, who banged it in for his 11th goal of the season.

San Jose forward Matt Nieto suffered a bruised foot after blocking a shot in the second period and did not return. Nieto, who has six goals and nine assists in 46 games as a rookie, is questionable for Friday's game.

In other news for the Sharks, Todd McLellan will set a franchise record this evening by coaching his 435th career game behind the San Jose bench. Current Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter held the previous record of 434 games. McLellan is already the club's all-time leader in wins with 256.

02/07 10:52:57 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
3rd
ECU 42
UNC 20
 
1st
TOWSN 0
NCCU 0
 
1st
NCSU 0
PRES 0
 
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
7th
OAK 0
PHI 0
 
6th
NYY 2
TOR 4
 
7th
COL 5
ARI 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
BOS
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
CWS
7:10pm Tonight
MIN
CLE
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
NYM
7:10pm Tonight
HOU
SEA
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
7:15pm Tonight
STL
CIN
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
 
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
 
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
 
4th
WAKE 17
ARMY 21
 
3rd
KU 10
CMICH 3
 
3rd
ALA 21
UF 21
 
2nd
FIU 0
LOU 21
 
3rd
ECU 42
UNC 20
 
3rd
NAVY 17
RUTG 31
 
3rd
SMU 3
TEXAM 48
 
4th
MICH 10
UTAH 23
 
3rd
BYU 20
UVA 16
 
3rd
WYO 10
FATL 13
 
3rd
MIZZ 17
IND 17
 
3rd
PSU 34
UMASS 0
 
3rd
MINN 17
SJST 7
 
4:00pm Today
ILL 6
TXST 14
1st
WASH 0
GASTATE 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
SMISS
APPST
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BST
7:00pm Tonight
OHIO
IDAHO
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
UMO
7:00pm Tonight
MEM
MTST
7:00pm Tonight
LSU
MSST
7:00pm Tonight
ARK
NILL
7:00pm Tonight
ARKST
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
GASO
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
OKLA
7:30pm Tonight
VANDY
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
FSU
CLEM
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
MIAMI
8:00pm Tonight
NMST
NMU
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
UNLV
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
BSU
LALAF
10:30pm Tonight
WASU
OREG
10:30pm Tonight
ORST
SDST
1st
TOWSN 0
NCCU 0
 
1st
NCSU 0
PRES 0